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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 144;

Airborne Particulate Matter in Two Multi-Family Green Buildings: Concentrations and Effect of Ventilation and Occupant Behavior

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers University, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Technology, Culture & Society, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 6 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gary Adamkiewicz and M. Patricia Fabian
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2200 KB, uploaded 20 January 2016]   |  


There are limited data on air quality parameters, including airborne particulate matter (PM) in residential green buildings, which are increasing in prevalence. Exposure to PM is associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, and since Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors, residential exposures may substantially contribute to overall airborne PM exposure. Our objectives were to: (1) measure various PM fractions longitudinally in apartments in multi-family green buildings with natural (Building E) and mechanical (Building L) ventilation; (2) compare indoor and outdoor PM mass concentrations and their ratios (I/O) in these buildings, taking into account the effects of occupant behavior; and (3) evaluate the effect of green building designs and operations on indoor PM. We evaluated effects of ventilation, occupant behaviors, and overall building design on PM mass concentrations and I/O. Median PMTOTAL was higher in Building E (56 µg/m3) than in Building L (37 µg/m3); I/O was higher in Building E (1.3–2.0) than in Building L (0.5–0.8) for all particle size fractions. Our data show that the building design and occupant behaviors that either produce or dilute indoor PM (e.g., ventilation systems, combustion sources, and window operation) are important factors affecting residents’ exposure to PM in residential green buildings. View Full-Text
Keywords: particulate matter; green buildings; indoor air quality; ventilation; behavior particulate matter; green buildings; indoor air quality; ventilation; behavior

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Patton, A.P.; Calderon, L.; Xiong, Y.; Wang, Z.; Senick, J.; Sorensen Allacci, M.; Plotnik, D.; Wener, R.; Andrews, C.J.; Krogmann, U.; Mainelis, G. Airborne Particulate Matter in Two Multi-Family Green Buildings: Concentrations and Effect of Ventilation and Occupant Behavior. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 144.

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